Best Home Electrolysis Machine Review – Top 4 List for Nov. 2020 with Buying Guide
Once upon a time, there was no such thing as laser hair removal; the first FDA approval for the use of laser light to burn away unwanted hair didn’t come until 1979.
Before then, the accepted method of hair removal (not counting tweezers, epilators or razors) was electrolysis. In fact, the technique of using small electrical currents to permanently destroy hair follicles has been practiced for almost as long as the light bulb has been around, although the process has been bettered in more recent decades. Advances in technology have seen the advent of home electrolysis machines.
Electrolysis vs. Laser treatment
Electrolysis has Two Major Advantages Over Laser Treatment
Electrolysis has been largely overshadowed by laser treatments in recent years, but the older approach has two major advantages. Most importantly, electrolysis is permanent because a hair follicle can never again grow hair after it’s been “shocked” by the needle. Laser light, by contrast, simply disables the follicle for a period that averages around two years (with a maintenance treatment suggested after one year) and after that, hair usually grows back. Additionally, electrolysis works for everyone, while laser treatments are only effective for people with light skin and dark hair. Dark skin is often burned by lasers, and since the method works by attacking the dark pigment in hair it’s usually not effective on light hair.
Electrolysis Takes a Long Time (Initially) While Laser Hair Removal is More Convenient (In the Short Term)
Electrolysis takes a long time to be done properly. Removing hair from just one area of the body involves a lengthy series of regular treatment sessions, sometimes as lengthy as 12-18 months since every hair follicle must be dealt with individually. That’s why many find laser hair removal more convenient, since larger areas can be treated during each session and the entire process often requires just six to ten visits.
The length of required treatments for each method can vary widely, however, depending on the type and amount of hair being removed and the area being treated.
It’s also common that one woman who’s gone through a long series of electrolysis sessions is finishing her hair removal treatments forever – just as a second woman who’s undergone laser sessions is beginning a new set of treatments because the hair has already regrown. Both methods do involve some pain, but neither is an excruciating treatment and the extent of the pain varies with each patient – in comparison you need to be quite determined to undergo a Brazilian waxing session.
The Cost of Electrolysis vs The Cost of Laser Hair Removal
Which is more expensive? Laser, but it’s impossible to say by how much. A laser hair removal session costs much more than a visit to an electrolysis technician (the averages are $500 vs. $50 per session), but a greater number of visits to an electrologist is almost always needed so the overall cost (in both time and money) will still add up over time.
The best way to save money on hair removal is to do it yourself. Home electrolysis machines have gotten better over the years and are a good alternative if you have steady hands and aren’t intimidated by the concept of sticking yourself with needles carrying electricity.
Types of Electrolysis Machines
There are machines on the market which claim to be faster and “pain-free” because they don’t use needles; you grab each hair with tweezers, turn on the juice briefly, and radio waves “travel down the hair” to kill the follicle.
This process is called thermolysis (or shortwave diathermy) and most scientific experts will tell you that it doesn’t work. Some users claim it does, however, although they’ll tell you that the hair removal isn’t necessarily permanent.
The traditional method is known as galvanic electrolysis, and it definitely does work. The Groom+Style review team will look at both types of treatments in our list of the top 4 best home electrolysis machines, but our advice is to stick to the tried and true galvanic device.
Risks Associated With Electrolysis
Please do be aware that there are risks associated with electrolysis, so you do have to be vigilant when performing electrolysis at home. According to the FDA the key issues are infection due to unsterile equipment (needles) and scarring associated with careless technique.
If you do decide to invest in a machine be patient. The process takes some time to learn and master so you may think that a machine “doesn’t work” after trying it a few times when it’s really a matter of gaining experience and using the machine properly. That’s why you may see many online reviews saying “this didn’t work” – most people aren’t patient enough to read through the manuals and learn exactly how to use their machine. Follow the instructions carefully, start with a less visible area like your leg instead of your face, and try working on a follicle several times if necessary. You’ll get there.
1. Clean And Easy Deluxe Home Electrolysis Machine
Groom+Style will provide more expensive options that are suitable for home “experts” later on this review page, but we assume that most readers are just starting with home electrolysis. And we feel that the Clean and Easy Unit is the best home electrolysis machine for novices. It’s easy and intuitive to use and is very affordable.
When we say this unit is simple, we mean it. There’s a single dial that allows you to control the intensity of the experience, which comes in very handy when you’re still tentative about the process and aren’t sure how much (or whether) it will hurt. Just to put your mind at ease – the sensation isn’t really pain, it’s more of a sharp tingling feeling. It can still be a bit of a shock (no pun intended), though, until you’re used to it.
The Clean and Easy is really a modified version of a galvanic electrolysis machine, designed for home users who won’t be as proficient with a sharp probe as a professional technician would be. It utilizes a thin, flexible stylet tip instead of a needle, with the electricity meant to vibrate the hair follicle instead of shocking it into submission. That means there’s no danger that you’ll accidentally puncture your skin, but it also means it’s tougher to get the tip right into the follicle. So the electrolysis process with the Clean and Easy isn’t quite as effective as it is when done with a “real needle,” and it’s likely you’ll need to treat each hair several times (at different times) to get good results.
A 9-volt battery powers the Clean and Easy; it’s best to buy a separate rechargeable battery and charger for it. The unit comes with one spare tip, and you can buy replacement tips separately. The chances are good, however, that by the time that need arises you’ll either have decided to buy a more professional model or given up on the idea of doing electrolysis yourself.
Facts and figures for the Clean And Easy Deluxe Home Electrolysis Machine:
2. Aavexx 600 Blend-Tone Transdermal and Conventional Electrolysis Machine
This is the real deal with a price to match, and it combines both galvanic electrolysis and thermolysis techniques for an approach known as “blend” electrolysis. You can use each technique individually or use them together (that’s the “blend”) to theoretically improve the overall performance of the unit.
Groom+Style looks at the Aavexx 600 mostly as a conventional galvanic machine because it can be used that way, with a powerful 24,000 kuv output capable of either old-fashioned single-output or multiple output modes to treat as many as a dozen hair follicles at once. But the blended approach is definitely interesting. In a nutshell, the galvanic process interacts with the saline at the base of the hair follicle (and sometimes with extra salt water applied to the area) to create an acidic material in the follicle that destroys it. In the blend method, radio waves from thermolysis heat the acid even more than normal, for greater dispersion and more permanent hair removal.
The Blend-Tone was designed for “real users” with a foot switch, programmable auto-timer, current overload protection and all the accessories you’ll need, as well as a comprehensive electrolysis guide with lots of instructions and detailed photos. It’s built primarily from plastic (which is why it doesn’t cost the thousands of dollars that professional models do), but the key components are made from stainless steel. In truth, many salons use this same machine, which is why (in addition to the price) you won’t see many consumer reviews for the Aavexx online.
You’ll be using needles, gels, electrode clips and patches when you unleash the Aavexx 600, so don’t expect to pull it out of the box and get to work. There’s a stiff learning curve. However, if you have the desire and dedication for it, the Aavexx delivers the micro clips of performance of all the units the review team looked at, methodically removing hair and killing follicles so the hair won’t regrow. If it weren’t for its complexity and price, it would be number one on our list of the top four best home electrolysis machines.
More details on the Aavexx 600 Blend-Tone Transdermal and Conventional Electrolysis Machine:
3. AVX500/600 Professional Electrolysis Machine For Permanent Hair Removal
The upper-end of electrolysis machines is dominated by one company, Aevexx, which uses several different brand names including AVX. This is a model that’s very similar to the one we’ve just reviewed, but it’s strictly a galvanic unit with no blend function. It sells for less than the Aavexx 600, so if you’re looking to spend in this price range we’d suggest springing for the 600 with the blend function. It may or may not add to the long-term effectiveness of your hair removal efforts, but it’s only a little extra money.
The galvanic specifications for the AVX500 are exactly the same as the Aavexx 600, complete with single or multiple modes, foot switch, overload protection and so on. They even look nearly identical, which probably shouldn’t be a surprise since this is really the Aavexx without the thermolysis function. Performance is just about equal to the dual-mode machine, requiring slow but steady work over time but not requiring the re-treatments you’ll have to do with the Clean and Easy or with thermolysis models.
If you know you definitely want only galvanic electrolysis, though, you can save a little money by going with the AVX500 instead of the Aavexx-branded machine.
Looking deeper at the AVX500/600 Professional Electrolysis Machine For Permanent Hair Removal:
4. EP85M Professional Radio Frequency RF Permanent Hair Removal Machine
The Groom+Style review team finishes our rundown of the top 4 best home electrolysis machines with a thermolysis unit which is quite expensive but can handle a number of hairs at the same time rather than requiring you to go one-by-one. As we’ve mentioned, the majority of experts don’t buy into the theory of shortwave diathermy that depends on “radio wave tweezers” instead of electric needles to kill hair follicles. However, many salons do a brisk business in the technique and many women swear by the process.
The EP85M was designed for professional use but is also suitable for individuals. There are four micro clips that attach to one hair apiece and deliver lower-level RF waves for 15-30 seconds, heating the hairs to remove them and theoretically destroy the follicles. Another set of tweezers can be used for shorter, higher-level radio wave “zaps” so you can treat several more hairs while the microclips are doing their work.
Hairs treated this way will come out with virtually no pain, and the machine is easy to use once you go through the instructions carefully. Long-term results? Your mileage may vary. The EP85M will set you back nearly four figures but is a good bet for thermolysis believers.
More information on the EP85M Professional Radio Frequency RF Permanent Hair Removal Machine: